This nation must not only deal with protecting, maintaining and upholding a clear-cut Mexican identity in the midst of foreign cultural material but must likewise exert great effort in integrating indigenous clusters with languages and cultures that are in and of themselves distinct and irreplaceable.
NAFTA, Trade Liberalization and the Mexican Economy The move to a free market economy from a protectionist system commenced in the 1980s. Previous heads of state, de la Madrid and Salinas, worked to support and cultivate economic liberalism and paved the way for the signing of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by Salinas which unlocked the doors of a previously "secluded" country to the international economic community. The agreement aimed to gradually abolish tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods, upgrade access for trade in services, institute rules for investment, fortify protection of intellectual property rights and make way for dispute settlement procedures for the US, Mexico and Canada (NAFTA & Cultural Policy, 2000). Trade liberalization has had great influence on Mexican agriculture, corn farming specifically. A lot of poor people in Mexico engage in corn production, that it served as a gauge for the situation of the most marginalized groups in Mexican society. But after 10 years of NAFTA, results showed that the poor managed very badly. While academic professionals disagree on the intrinsic value and qualities of trade liberalization, the Mexican state persists to consider it as a universal remedy for poverty and underdevelopment. However, evidence implies that free trade agreements in general and NAFTA in particular, have aggravated the problems confronting the rural poor in Mexico.
Workers' Rights A vital problem in Mexico is the dearth of self-governing unions that can thrash out on issues with conviction in collective bargaining agreements. Approximately 90% of all Mexico's collective bargaining arrangements are settled by non-independent, pro-government, pro-company unions. These "protection contracts" are basically settled without the consent, or even the knowledge, of the majority of workers. As it is, the law only requires that twenty workers belong to the negotiating union. The agreements impede the establishment of real independent unions, since new unions must later win an election in which at least half the workforce participates in order to take control of the collective agreements away from the non-independent union.
Mexico's "Affair" with the World Bank and the IMF For almost 20 years, Mexico has adhered to almost every economic policy that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have mandated. Mexico's submission to IMF dictates has been so consistent, that in